Swimming Pool Blog

Above Ground Pool Filter Upgrade

Holiday Vacation Planning
by Mark Garcia September 27, 2013

Aboveground Pool Filter Upgrades

ABOVE GROUND POOL FILTERSIf you are an above ground pool owner, having difficulties maintaining clear, clean and blue water, consider the possibility that your pool filter media (sand or cartridge) is either worn out, or the filter was undersized to begin with.

For many aboveground pools, the filter that is included with the pool is marginal, meaning that it's just barely adequate to handle the volume of water. Add to this issue some hot weather or low chlorine levels, and you've got a real mess on your hands.

Or, perhaps you had a mess on your hands last spring, or a mid-summer algae bloom that your filter took weeks to clear up. Is your filter worn out or undersized?

Is my Filter Media Worn Out?

There are a few ways to determine if it's time to change the filter sand or filter cartridge. One way is the length of your filter cycle, or time between backwashes or cartridge cleanings. When the filter requires cleaning twice as often as it used to - it needs replacement.

Another clue is when dirt or debris is passing through the filter, returning to the pool, not being trapped effectively. Or, if you find that you need more filtering, or more chemicals to maintain water quality, you may need to replace the filter sand or cartridge.

Finally, if your filter is having trouble clearing up poor water conditions, or has trouble maintaining clear water, start shopping for a new filter cartridge, or pick up some pool filter sand locally for a sand bed replacement.

Is my Pool Filter too Small? 

Again, I want to stress that the filters that are normally included with above ground pools tend to be marginal or adequate. This is done to keep costs competitive, or in the case of portable, Intex style pools, to fit it all in one box.

Unless you upgraded when buying your pool, chances are, the filter that came with the pool is just barely big enough. It probably works well with clean and clear water, but throw some low chlorine, high pH and warm water at it, and it struggles to keep up.

Undersized filters may require 24 hr per day operation, frequent cleanings, or additional sanitizers or filter aids, such as clarifiers, to maintain clear and clean pool water.

Upgrading an Aboveground Pool Filter

If you have a filter struggling to keep up, even with new filter media, or one that struggles with adverse water conditions, here's some tips on selecting a new pool filter.

  1. Go Big. Larger filters have better performance and easier maintenance.
  2. D.E filters are best, followed by Cartridge filters, then sand (all else being equal).
  3. Pumps should be sized to filter all of the water within 6 hours.

With that being said, it's now time to go filter shopping, but maybe for next year, if you close your pool for winter. To aid in your new filter selection, here's a small chart of Hayward pool filters that can be used as a guideline to properly size an above ground pool filter.

5000 S-144T C-500 EC-30
10000 S-166T C-900 EC-40
15000 S-180T C-1200 EC-50

Take a look at our complete selection of above ground pool filter systems (filter and pump). If you need any help with selection, or have questions on any of our filters for aboveground pools, give us a call at 877-POOLCTR.


Thanks for Reading!

Mark Garcia